February 28, 2007
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A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999
FROM VOLUME 8, NUMBER 9, SEPTEMBER 1995
OF GENERAL INTEREST: IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE
"Potential Impacts of Climate Change on Agriculture and Food Supply,"
C. Rosenzweig (NASA Goddard Inst. Space Studies, 2880 Broadway, New York NY
10025), D. Hillel, Consequences, 1(2), 22-32, Summer 1995.
A review and perspective piece for the nonspecialist. Computer models that
include the direct benefits of enhanced CO2 on plant growth predict that
greenhouse warming will generally benefit agriculture in the U.S., Canada and
Australia, and diminish agricultural productivity in the lower latitude,
developing countries that can least afford a drop in food production or the
needed adjustments in agricultural practices. The authors counter two prevailing
notions: a threshold of climate change below which no policy response is needed,
and blind faith in agriculture as a self-correcting process. These notions, plus
the arguments of some plant scientists that the physiological effects of
enhanced CO2 will be overwhelmingly positive, may lull decision makers and the
public into undesirable complacency regarding global warming.
"Greenhouse Effect and Food Program in Russia," O.D. Sirotenko
(Russian Res. Inst. of Agric. Meteor.), V.N. Pavlova, Russian Meteor. &
Hydrol., No. 7, 1-10, 1994.
Summarizes simulations of the effect on agriculture of climate change and
elevated CO2 and tropospheric ozone, against the background of anthropogenic
soil degradation. If global warming and climate aridity coincide with increasing
soil degradation in Russia's major agricultural regions, a 30% reduction of
grain yield and a 10% drop in plant growth by the year 2030 are possible. At the
same time, the calculations show that technological progress can counter these
"Was Low Atmospheric CO2 During the Pleistocene a Limiting Factor for
the Origin of Agriculture?" R.F. Sage (Dept. Botany, Univ. Toronto, 25
Willcocks St., Toronto OH M5S 3B2, Can.), Global Change Biol., 1(2),
93-106, Apr. 1995.
Examines the possibility that the rise in atmospheric CO2 from below 200 to
near 270 µmol/mol, that occurred between 15,000 and 12,000 years ago, may
have prompted the human transition from foraging to food-producing economies.
"Stochastic Characterization of Regional Circulation Patterns for
Climate Model Diagnosis and Estimation of Local Precipitation," E. Zorita
(LOYDC, Univ. Curie, 4 Pl. Jussieu, Tour 14, Paris 75252, France), J.P. Hughes
et al., J. Clim., 8(5), Part II, 1023-1042, May 1995.
Examines two statistical approaches for linking large-scale atmospheric
circulation patterns and daily local rainfall, that could be used to determine
the impact of altered climate regimes on local precipitation. The selection
characteristics of analogs used in one of the approaches are similar for
observations, a control run, and a 2 x CO2 run, indicating that analogs for
possible altered climates can be found in the historical record.
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